At the Munich Security Conference on Feb. 19, China joined Russia, saying that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) should not include Ukraine. This is one of Russia’s demands in the Ukraine crisis.

In response, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg noted, “For the first time we now see Beijing joining Moscow in calling on NATO to stop admitting new members.”

He warned, “It is an attempt to control the fate of free nations, to rewrite the international rulebook and impose their own authoritarian models of governance.”

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen joined Stoltenberg, saying that Moscow’s demands were a “blatant attempt” to dictate world order.

She said both governments were trying to “replace the existing international rules—they prefer the rule of the strongest to the rule of law, intimidation instead of self-determination.”

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also said that no Asian nation should agree to China and Russia’s aspiration to change the world according to their own spheres of interests.

He said, “It is absolutely clear that we are going into a world that is multi-polar. You can be sure that other upcoming or already great nations of Asia will not accept [this].”

He continued, “South Korea will not, Japan will not, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia will not.”

Stoltenberg also promised that members of NATO could join the Alliance as they wished and have their choice respected if they did not want to be included.

He said, “There is no first class NATO members in the west of our Alliance and second class NATO members to the east. We are all NATO Allies and we stand as one and we will always do what is necessary to protect and defend each other.”

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